PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There is pushback from teachers in Pittsburgh Public Schools after the district released a plan to get some students back in the classroom in April.
The teachers said the plan blindsided them, and Nina Esposito-Visgitis of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers says they are tired of being left out of the conversation.READ MORE: WalletHub: Pennsylvania Among Least Safe States During Pandemic
“The district didn’t run them by us or anything,” Esposito-Visgitis said. “It certainly wasn’t a collaborative effort.”
Esposito-Visgitis says teachers and the union were caught off-guard when Pittsburgh Public Schools came out Monday with a detailed plan to return kids to the classroom.
“It’s disheartening to us because a lot of times, we would like to have a discussion or know something is happening,” she said. “To be honest, it gets old.”
Since the re-opening of schools has been a conversation, teachers had hoped they would be vaccinated before the doors open. But as the expected April 6 return date draws closer, PPS superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet says all teachers being vaccinated is unrealistic.READ MORE: Heinz Field COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Adding More Appointments
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Meanwhile, Esposito-Visgitis says there needs to be more than a mitigation blueprint moving forward to guarantee teachers in the classroom.
“I think our members have to feel they are appreciated, there is communication, that all the other layers of mitigation are in place. But people have to know, they have to be communicated to, there has to be transparency, there has to be communication,” Esposito-Visgitis said.
The common goal is a safe return for all, and Esposito-Visgitis says teachers just want to be included in the conversation to achieve that.
“I know they’re anxious to get back. Our job is to make sure they go safely,” Esposito-Visgitis said.MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania Department Of Health Says Flu Activity Across State Remains Low
Esposito-Visgitis says the union and school leaders met for one of the first times Tuesday to start working on a compromise and what needs to be done before a return. She hopes talks continue to move forward.